Last week, House Speaker John Boehner reiterated his stance on the prospects for comprehensive immigration reform this year, stressing that he will not allow the bipartisan Senate “Gang of Eight” bill to come to the House floor for a vote.
On Monday, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said that he remains hopeful that immigration reform will happen, albeit in 2014.
“I think there will be bills passed,” Bush said in New York on Monday. “It won’t be one comprehensive bill. I think it will probably be in late spring, where there’s a little bit of a window before the election starts in earnest. I hope so, I hope that’s the case. I’ve talked to Speaker Boehner and he’s totally committed to this, but he needs to find a way to get enough of the support.”
The former governor of Florida has long been a supporter of immigration reform and has been a voice of reason on the issue among Republicans. Bush is fluent in Spanish and is married to a Mexican immigrant. He gave his remarks on Monday while discussing his book, Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution.
“I think a lot of people view immigration as, by supporting immigrants, you’re taking away from me. And I would argue the opposite is the case,” he said. “If we have this narrow perspective of ‘We’re not going to grow anymore and the pie is set and that’s it, so I’m going to fight for mine,’ we’re doomed. That’s it. Our country doesn’t work well in a static kind of environment. Our country works well when it’s dynamic and aspirational.” He added that immigrants “aren’t a drain on that, they’re actually a catalytic converter for sustained economic growth.”
For immigration reform to pass, there is going to need to be substantial bipartisan support for this issue. We all know that immigration reform is supported by a majority of Americans, including Long Islanders, and it’s up to us to let our elected officials know how we feel. For those on Long Island, please keep calling Rep. Peter King to urge him to support comprehensive immigration reform.